Pledge 1%’s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are changing the world. Our leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, and are all doing their part to have an impact in their communities and at their workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their background and path to success.

What is your name and title?

Erin Michelson, Founder & CEO, Summery.

Briefly (1-2 sentences) describe your current role.

As a sole, female founder, I oversee every aspect of our business—product development & delivery, sales, marketing, & customer success, operations. Of course, I’m simply the point person representing the hard work and dedication of our amazing team at Summery. We’ve been able to build and expand so quickly because of our culture of shared values that enables us to operate at the highest level.

What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?

My best decision was to truly believe that we could help individuals be more personally and professionally fulfilled by providing the tools to measure, assess, and activate individual values. By taking this risk and recruiting an incredible team of behavioral, cognitive and data scientists, we are now working with startups and Fortune 500 companies like Salesforce, global foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and higher education organizations around the world.

What’s the number one challenge you face as a woman in your industry?

There are countless studies showing that despite out-performance, women business owners only receive about 2% of all venture capital.

In our case, this lack of available funding translated into a determination to prove product-market fit and an early focus on generating revenue. Not taking capital early on turned out to be the best way to prove our model and grow our client base.

When did your company join Pledge 1%? How long have you been working on your impact program?

Summery joined Pledge 1% within months of launching because the framework—donating 1% of our time-product-profit—is so easy to implement and aligned with our mission. The primary way we meet our commitment is to open our flagship product to the public: The Kind Quiz, which enables individuals to better understand and activate their social impact values. Upon completing the 5-minute quiz, you receive a 3-page Kind profile and are matched with like-minded celebrities. Summery then makes a donation to a nonprofit organization that reflects your collective values.

What is something coming up that excites you?

We are launching The Kind CoLab, a global community designed to engage, educate, and empower individuals who seek to discover and activate our unique kindness through curated content, activities & events. Join the fun at www.summery.ai.